I always look to the runways for beauty inspiration and ideas of new ways to wear my hair or makeup. This season, it was all about minimal makeup and one of two extremes in hair – statement or polished and simple. Here are 5 Spring 2015 Fashion Week beauty looks to try now.
Festivals usually require either a hat or a braid. Or maybe even both. My friend Noa has a preference for a classic crown braid so I styled her for FYF Fest this weekend. Since I like braids that are a little undone, I took the french braids into a messy bun. I used a new trick to secure the braid into the bun so that it would only look undone, but was actually tightly pulled back and stayed intact throughout all the dancing we did. And aside from festivals, this is a look I’ll be sporting on some lazy hair days.
The first step after parting the hair is to french braid along the hair line on each side. I prefer to have one side that starts from the part, while the another that starts loosely around the ear.
The next step is to take the 3 sections (a braid on each side and the loose hair in the middle) and braid it for only an inch before tying it into a ponytail.
Next, you will take the ponytail and pull it up and into the top of the braid, then pulling it around through the bottom.
Continue doing this and wrapping the hair around the braid until all the hair is wrapped.
Use bobby pins to secure the twist and you’re done!
This has either been the longest or shortest week ever, depending on how you look at it. I’ve been really, really busy at work and it won’t be slowing down for at least the next few weeks. But it’s all for something really exciting so it is all worth it. I will be taking a quick break before another hectic week begins to head down to LA for the weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing friends, enjoying some warm weather (it so does not feel like August in SF!) and watching one of my favorite bands, Interpol, perform at FYF. Hope you have a great weekend as well! As for my favorites…
Forget working out, forget shopping… sleep is my new cardio and I hope to get a lot of it this weekend. Need this tank!
I’ve been living in my new brown booties ever since I bought them earlier this week
Coconut oil is everywhere – apparently, it can be used for everything from cooking to beauty treatments to curing something. Not sure exactly what, but there are supposedly health benefits to it too. So if you’re like me, you probably have tried 1-2 of these and whether or not you like using it, an entire bottle of coconut oil can be pretty difficult to use! I’ve been mostly using coconut oil for beauty treatments (since I don’t really like the taste of coconut to cook with it) and I’ve come up with 5 uses for coconut oil that have replaced my beauty products. Remember that a little bit of coconut oil goes a long way, so I recommend using as little as possible the first time you try any of these and adjust in the next use if necessary.
hair oil: My thick hair needs some additional moisture when I step out of the shower and hair oils tend to do the trick. But now, I can use only a teaspoon of coconut oil instead. To apply coconut oil to your hair to tame it and de-frizz, take about a teaspoon size of coconut oil, rub it all over your hands and fingers, and finger comb through your damp hair, focusing on the ends.
deep conditioning treatment: I’ve recommended this a few times here and coconut oil works exceptionally well as a deep conditioning treatment once a week. To apply it, section your hair in pieces and apply 1/2 teaspoon to each section. You can let it sit for a few minutes before washing out, or if you want an extra deep conditioning, try wrapping your hair with a warm towel for 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
shaving cream: I always seem to run out of shaving cream and forget to replace it so coconut oil is a perfect replacement for me. I just mix 2 parts coconut oil and 1 part body wash to make a shaving “cream”. It is exceptionally moisturizing for a super smooth shave.
body scrub: When I need a good body scrub, I just mix equal parts of coconut oil and sugar to get a gentle body scrub. Easy.
eye makeup remover: Before I started using coconut oil and I would run out of eye makeup remover, I would just use lotion. But, lotion doesn’t completely remove makeup whereas coconut oil does and is gentler on the eyes. To use coconut oil as an eye makeup remover, rub a very small amount on a cotton pad and wipe your eyes clean. I remove my makeup first, and then follow with my face wash and the rest of my skin care regimen.
Have you used coconut oil for any of these? Or, do you have any other uses for coconut oil? Let me know in the comments below!
Beauty myths are always buzzing. As I’m always most concerned about hair and that is coincidentally the area I’ve had the most experience in (okay, both personally and professionally), it is the hair myths that always stick in my mind. And it’s these 5 in particular.
1. Washing your hair is bad for it. People love to find new ways to wash their hair as little as possible. Maybe I’m being overly sassy, but it just seems like this myth became popular out of a mass desire to be lazy. While washing your hair too often, especially if you have a dry scalp, may not be great for it, having excess oil and adding more hair products (dry shampoo, I’m looking at you) isn’t great for it either. It can cause build-up and consequently damage to your scalp and tresses. Wash your hair.
2. It’s better to comb your hair in the shower. For us curly hair girls, we steer clear of brushes. It just creates frizziness and breakage. But every so often, I will use a wide tooth comb in the shower to get rid of any knots or kinks. And I’m hearing more and more about wet brushing or combing… always remember that combing or brushing wet hair causes breakage. So avoid.
3. The best way to thin the hair is a razor. Okay, so I haven’t seen a hairdresser use a razor on my hair in YEARS. Most hairdressers I’ve spoken to say that it is what they do to get through more clients. It’s quicker, faster, less precise. And can potentially cause you to look like a puffball, depending on your hair type. The better way, especially on thick, curly hair, to get layers or to thin the hair is to use the undercut technique. This is done with scissors.
4. If you pull out white hairs, more will grow in its place. Ever since I saw my first grew hair right in the center of my part a few years back, I’ve been pulling out any sign of white that I see. And guess what? None of it has grown back.
5. Men like women with straight hair. Okay so obviously I’m adding this for a bit of humor. I remember hearing this on Millionaire Matchmaker. If you’re not familiar with the show, Patti makes all her clients straighten their hair because she says men like straight hair women more. If that is the case, I’m screwed.
Any other hair or beauty myths you keep hearing about? I’m curious to hear them!
I use a lot of beauty products on a daily basis. A year ago, it was mostly makeup and hair products, but now that I’m working for a skincare company I’m using a full skincare regimen as well. All of this is typically way too much to bring along on any trip, so when I travel I have to make choices.
Of course on an extended plane trip (where I check in a bag) or when I take a road trip, I may throw in more. Or, if I’m having some skin issues, I’ll go ahead and pack my entire skincare regimen. But otherwise I rely on the necessities and take advantage of products like shampoo, conditioner, and face wash that the hotel or friend who I may be staying with has.
My travel beauty essentials meet my needs when I’m on the road. The first of these being that I tend to get lazy so I need easy solutions. Bad, I know. But it happens to all of us right? At those times, I rely on these products.
Rodan + Fields Eye Clothes: I discovered these clothes just recently working at Rodan + Fields*. What I love about it is that it is dual purpose as a makeup remover with added skincare benefits.
Drybar Detox Shampoo: A great dry shampoo is a necessity for the days I don’t want to wash my hair.
Because I’ve had so many bad experiences with my favorite powdered eyeshadows, blushes, and foundations shattering in transit, I avoid bringing those altogether. Instead, I stick with liquid form foundation and blush, bring a makeup setting spray, and keep my eyes simple with an eyeliner and mascara that can be layered to look dramatic for the evening. All of these are my favorites, travel or at home!
Bobbi Brown BB Cream
Tarte Cheek Stain in Pink Coral
Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray
MAC Penultimate Eyeliner
Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Mascara
Lastly, when it comes to my daily beauty must-haves (lipstick, hair styler, perfume), I walk away from the many options I have at home depending on my outfit, mood, or whatever may come up and select just one of each for my travel bag.
Maybelline Lipstick in Continuous Cranberry: Someone gave this to me recently, and it is the perfect summer color. It is a vibrant berry and goes with pretty much everything, day to night.
Sebastian Professional Taming Elixir Cream Styler: I was introduced to this styling product when I worked on Sebastian, and it has a great balance of conditioning and hold especially for my frizzy, curly hair. It has enough hold for when I want to let my curls loose and it also has a heat protectant if I want to fix my curls or straighten. It doesn’t come in a travel size, but easy to transfer into a smaller bottle for the plane.
Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball: This is a classic floral scent that works for any occasion.
Do you have any travel beauty secrets? What are your travel essentials? Let me know in the comments below.
*I currently work for Rodan+Fields. The comments above (and anything else you’ll find on this site) are my own opinions and not reflective of that of the company.
With my hair texture and skin tone, it is difficult to play with hair cuts and colors. Every time I have, it ended up going very wrong. In college, I lightened my hair but couldn’t keep up with the roots and ended up looking like a zebra. Out of frustration, I dyed it dark and chopped it to a short bob , but ended up looking like a puff ball. Oh, and then I had the “ombre” (more like two-tone) hair that was just bad. I’ve learned while it may sound boring, long, layered hair in my natural hair color was the best option. And while the long bob caught my eye, I was worried that jumping on the latest hair trend could be yet another mistake. And at this age, I don’t need anymore hair mistakes.
My hair has been growing like crazy lately so I went to my hairdresser, Diva, last week for a trim. She’s pretty straightforward with what she thinks I should and shouldn’t do, and she actually thought that a lob could work. The two things she suggested were to cut my hair to a length that looked like a lob when I wear my hair naturally curly and to cut my hair slightly shorter in the back. This prevents the triangle shape that us curly hair girls are familiar with. So, I spontaneously decided to say goodbye to my long tresses.
Okay, I admit it’s only been 4 days since I cut my hair but I’m loving my curly lob! It was surprisingly warm in SF over the weekend (which is becoming more of a usual thing here) and the lightweight lob kept me cool. It only takes me a few minutes to style and is still long enough to put into a braid/bun/ponytail. It’s a great cut for curly hair… I personally think it looks best on girls who at least have a wave, but maybe I’m bias. Either way, it’s fun to finally have a change!
I’m in a great mood today! Maybe because it’s Friday… and also because I finally got a lob (long bob)! What can I say, hair makes me happy! I’m really digging the much shorter hairstyle, way shorter than anything I’ve done in a very long time. I’ll debut next week – for now I need to go style it! Hope you have a great weekend!
favorite beauty tips: Speaking of hair, I discovered this website full of step by step hair tutorials that is totally worth checking out. Aside from the hair, the uncut look gives you that exclusive behind the scenes feel. (images via Sans Style)
favorite customized weekender: I’m likely headed to LA next weekend and have a few more extended weekend trips in the coming months. I have finally come to accept that my current (beautiful) leather Marc Jacobs weekender is just too heavy to practically use so it’s time to find a replacement. I landed on this Kate Spade Saturday weekender that I was able to customize to my taste! So fun.
favorite new overly indulgent dessert: I finally tasted a small bite of a cronut a few weeks ago (and no it was not gluten-free but I just had to try it) – totally overrated. But now I’m drooling at these churro ice cream sandwiches that are “popping up” around LA. (via laist)
Maybe it’s an excuse for my frizzy, curly hair or just the California girl in me, but I always gravitate towards less polished and let’s call “undone” hair. So naturally, I embrace beach waves and I have even found a way to get that look with my curly hair using a few styling tricks. But what I have learned over the years is that what is often called messy beach waves are actually very well styled. It’s the same concept as buying $200 ripped jeans – caring a lot to look like you don’t care. Quite disappointing for those of us who love the idea of a quick wash-and-go for a very trendy mane. And merely experimenting with this lazy day hair fix can easily put you in the too messy and unpolished territory.
Since I do recommend minimal use of hot tools during the summer, here are some tricks to get that messy hair look without crossing the line into TOO messy.
- Brush your hair if needed, especially if you have barely there waves or straight hair. Having kinks and knots in your hair will definitely make it look way too messy. Not a great look, especially in the office.
- Add a styling product to polish your hair or add texture. Just a little bit of hair product will sculpt your hair and give it the intentional messy look. If you have wavy or frizzy hair, use a conditioning styling product like Sebastian Whipped Creme. It’ll help reduce some frizz, condition the hair, and add shape. If you have flat or straight hair, try a texturizing product like Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray.
- Use a flat or curling iron to fix just a few front sections. Sometimes I’ll straighten just the very top of my hair (by the roots) to reduce some frizz, or even flatten out some unruly ends. You can also try loosely curling a few sections in the front. You’ll still have that messy look but just look polished!
- Wear (just a little) makeup and a polished outfit. I know this has nothing to do with your hair, but if you’re wearing messy hair with no makeup and a too casual outfit… well… you’ll just look like a mess. It’s all about balance.
This has been a topic that I’ve been debating back and forth on whether I should write about But given it is on the topic of beauty and this is primarily a beauty blog, well, it just feels right to talk about it.
So to begin with, if you haven’t already noticed – I have A LOT of hair. My concerns with it have always been manageability, shine, frizziness. But over the years, I’ve learned how to deal with all that. Hair loss or thinning had never crossed my mind.
Back in October, I was straightening my hair when I noticed a lot of visible scalp on the right side. I took a closer look and saw what I thought could be a tiny bald spot. After several attempts of taking pictures so that I could take a closer look, along with photo messages to my sisters for their input, we concluded that it was a small bald patch. Honestly, I didn’t think much about it beyond that. It was tiny, not fully bald, and given that I was an over styler, I figured I was just being too rough with my hair.
Fast forward one month. I was at my parent’s house, chatting with my sister and playing around with my hair (per usual). That is when I noticed my hair felt very shiny at the root. TOO shiny. I started rubbing my hair along the root some more before I realized that I wasn’t actually rubbing my hair – it was my scalp! I went into semi-panic mode before I decided to set up my iPhone and mirror so that I could start taking pictures, and soon I confirmed that there was a second bald spot. That took me to extreme panic mode and I quickly went home to try to calm down.
Instead of calming down, I went the neurotic route and set up a mirror facing another mirror so that I could scan my entire scalp. I counted 4 spots in total – 3 on the right side and 1 on the bottom of my left.
Then I proceeded to do what many of us do when we have weird symptoms – searching online for self diagnosis. Within 24 hours, I had diagnosed myself with thyroid disease, Lupus, etc, etc, etc. Between this point and when I actually went to a doctor, I assumed something was really wrong with me. I was sad.
In addition to feeling sad about my health, I just felt ugly. Although I’ve always lost a lot of hair (probably more than the 100 strands average daily), the sight of any hair began to give me anxiety. I stopped styling my hair completely and was paranoid about people seeing the spots. I have so much hair that they were pretty difficult to see, but that wasn’t how I felt. 2 of the spots were on the bottom, meaning I couldn’t wear my hair in a ponytail, and some of the usual twists and braids that I would wear on lazy hair days had the risk of spot exposure. I avoided anything social for awhile. I mostly kept to myself.
I went through so many different feelings over the next months and could probably write a novel here that would bore you. But what seemed like a really big deal back then definitely does not now (for me specifically, I do realize that there are much more extreme cases out there). These are just a few of the things (some superficial, some obvious) that I learned in the process.
- Since I was young, I tried to figure out how to style and “fix” my hair. I actually forgot what my natural hair looked like. It took me losing a significant amount of my hair to realize that I actually like it naturally curly and to get more comfortable with some natural frizz! It’s been quite a process to learn to appreciate what I have (related to hair or anything else!)
- Self-diagnosis is bad for emotional health. I know this seems obvious, but we all tend to do it. I don’t have a serious illness – I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata. It is just spotted hair loss, not much else. It could be related to stress, genetics, but not clearly known. But between the point that I discovered the spots and the final diagnosis from a dermatologist, I was convinced I had something serious. The best thing to do is go to a doctor.
- Biotin (a B vitamin) can help with hair health. I started taking the maximum daily limit and it accelerated my hair growth (well, at least the hair I had). Now I always recommend it to anyone who experiences hair loss or slowed hair growth. It’s not a miracle, but it may help.
- I felt a lot better once I started sharing my experience with others. I was worried to talk to anyone about the loss because it is embarrassing and I assumed that people may judge or simply be very worried about my health – or maybe wonder how a girl with this issue could write a beauty blog?! But of course, most of my friends offered their support. And, I also realized how many women actually go through the same exact issue!! I wasn’t alone.
- Assuming hair loss is not related to anything serious… well, it’s just hair? This may happen again and several times in my life. For now, I’m lucky and appreciative that I have a shit ton of it. Or maybe I say it’s just hair because I still have so much. So let’s revisit this one later. Either way, I’m still the same person.
By the way, 2 of my spots have started growing some small hairs in the recent months. I’ve recently began styling my hair (as you’ve probably seen here on the blog) but I’m definitely wearing it naturally curly most days.